The word “Konbit” (Pron. Kaun-beet) means working together in Creole. It’s a term that many Westerners have long forgotten. It harks upon a time when humans knew that working together was the only means for survival. This was a time when being a part of a community was essential. It refers to a time when we wouldn’t have ever considered doing life alone.
Yet, today humanity finds itself moving further apart from community. Distanced from those closest to us, living in fear of those around us.
However, humanity’s origins of living communally and working together is still alive for those of us who wish to be reminded or are looking for traditional models of cooperatives. It can be found throughout Haiti where the concept of working together is not just a mindset but a way of life.
Let us explore further.
The Haitian Konbit
The Haitian konbit starts with someone who is part of a community who has something they want to realise, for instance building a home. What starts out as an invitation for friends and family to help out on a specified date, turns into a gathering made of family, friends, acquaintances, people walking by and others who may have heard of the event. Throughout the day, everyone shares in folklore songs, stories, jokes, food and alcohol.
Women Farmers Work Together
Thus, the concept of the konbit is a natural progression into the cooperative formation with all members sharing in a common goal.
Wouzé works with women farmers who are no stranger to working together like in the building of a mud home. It is they who transport the soil by donkey. It is they who apply the finishing touches to the home by throwing mud onto the frame of the house and carefully smoothing it out by hand. All done in joyful song and celebration.
Wouzé invests in these women who already have what it takes to succeed, understanding the importance of hard work and working together to achieve a goal, but who lack immediate resources and access to education.
Wouzé invites you to our konbit to end poverty starting now.